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ICYMI: Sergio Garcia’s 30-minute ruling fiasco explained



While you were watching football and keeping an eye on the PGA Tour leaderboard as Marc Leishman romped to the BMW Championship win, you may have missed an extremely curious occurrence.

The short story is Sergio Garcia made an improbable par save at the par-5 18th hole at Conway Farms to slide into the top 30 and the FedEx Cup points standings and earn a spot in the Tour Championship.

The long story is long…like 30 minutes long. The Spaniard hit his approach shot into a hazard. After considering his options, Garcia consulted with rules official Stephen Cox. He then took two drops that resulted in the ball ending up closer to the hole, so he placed it on his third attempt.

“I knew if I got good contact on it, it would pop up and probably go in the grandstand behind the green,” Garcia said of his eventual third shot. “We started looking at that.”

Golf Channel’s Will Gray wrote about the logic of the ruled that allowed Garcia to drop

“While Rule 24-2 does not allow a player to take relief from a movable obstruction when in a hazard, Cox explained that the temporary nature of the obstruction made Garcia eligible to receive a free drop, provided he remained inside the hazard.

““(If) the player’s ball lies in a water hazard, he would not get relief from an immovable obstruction for like a sprinkler head,” Cox said. “We have very large structures which are situated very close to the water hazard which ordinarily wouldn’t be there, so the rules allow a player to get relief when his ball lies in a water hazard.””

After what amounted to perching his ball on a de facto rock tee, Garcia pitched a hot one over the green that ricocheted off the grandstands. He got up and down from par from where his ball ended up in the green-skirting rough.

“Because the grandstands are there, and the rules are there, I was able to take relief from it and it kind of worked out well for me,” Garcia said.

Indeed, it did. This isn’t quite as dubious as the Ballad of Charley Hoffman, Branden Grace and the Bunker Lining, but it’s, shall we say, a savvy application of the Rules of Golf.

Here’s a (mercifully condensed) video of the drama.

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  1. 2putttom

    Sep 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    impatient tikes all over the place.

  2. Chuck

    Sep 20, 2017 at 7:52 am

    I didn’t have a chance to watch a lot of the BMW; but I did watch this incident and I thought it was fascinating. I wish that the announcers spent less time laughing about and apologizing for the delay, and spent more time describing what the Rules were and how Garcia was utilizing them.

    • RMF

      Sep 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

      the problem is they do not know the rules that are being discussed

  3. nyguy

    Sep 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    funny, we didn’t see any articles complaining about jordan spieth’s 30 min decision in the open.

    • RMF

      Sep 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

      I actually had a huge issue with Spieth’s ruling, not the decision itself it was the fact that the rules official told Spieth where to drop the ball in order to gain the the free drop on the side he wanted. once he took the unplayable the rules official should of offered no further advice until the ball the dropped then advised him of his options.

      I have been surprised very few people haven’t discussed it further

      • Mat

        Sep 21, 2017 at 2:31 am

        Discussing rules is legal, including potential outcomes.

  4. ABM

    Sep 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    It should be 1 stroke penalty per 5 minutes of time spend on every ruling

  5. Dat

    Sep 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I’d rather watch paint dry than a rules incident on the tour. Something must be done about these kinds of things.

  6. asugrad1988

    Sep 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    This is why I record every golf tournament so I can fast forward through stuff like this and I don’t have to watch the commercials either.

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19th Hole

This new Miura documentary is must-watch stuff for equipment junkies



Last week, we told you a Miura documentary was on the horizon. Today, it’s here.

The mysterious Japanese company’s wares have had a cult following in the golf equipment space since company founder, Katsuhiro Miura, began forging and hand-grinding clubs in 1957. The three-chapter documentary short begins by looking into company history, building techniques, and Miura’s reputation globally.

“Within Japan, the name Miura, specifically the name of our founder, Katsuhiro Miura, it is a legend,” says Shinei Miura.

Such is the bold, and entirely appropriate, start to Discovering Perfection: The Miura Story, and it only gets more interesting from there.

Just 10 minutes in length, this short documentary is well worth your time. Check it out!

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Is Rory McIlroy right about drunken fan behavior? GolfWRX members debate



Rory McIlroy’s brilliant Sunday performance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is rightfully in the headlines, but his remarks after his Saturday round continue to spur debate.

McIlroy, it seems, was repeatedly heckled by a likely overserved gentleman. He told ESPN

“There was one guy out there who kept yelling my wife’s name. I was going to go over and have a chat with him. I don’t know, I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something because every week, it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.”

McIlroy is right about “guys complaining more and more.” We’ve already heard from the Ulsterman and Justin Thomas on the issue of fan behavior this year. But is he right to suggest limiting alcohol? Is this more an issue of drunk idiots or idiots generally?

GolfWRX members discussed McIlroy’s remarks in a forum thread salmon1a started.

Christosterone positions golf in the pantheon of sport and says there’s no place for heckling

“What kind of a loser follows Rory around yelling his wife’s name?? One can imagine he was not simply yelling her name…but was saying something crass about her…Either we tolerate the behavior or we don’t…heckling is different from interrupting a stroke…And we all know heckling when we see it..The question is whether or not we allow it…Golf is a concentration sport on par with gymnastics [as related to focus]. Imagine if some idiot was heckling Simone Biles between events…they would be tossed”

Titleist670 on where to draw the line and the fact that heckling is bad for other fans too

“A little good natured ribbing is one thing, but when you start following players around and yelling personal insults I’m fine with getting these people off the course.”

“The other issue is some of the obnoxious folks ruin it for other fans. I’m sure there are kids after the rounds who would like autographs or to see their favorite players, but after 18 holes of dealing with drunks yelling mashed potatoes after every shot, there are guys who probably just want to get the F out of there.”

JaNelson38 puts some of the blame on volunteer marshals

“This is the #1 drawback to having volunteers act as marshals and crowd control…I personally think each venue should provide security each week to help alleviate this problem, even if it costs some purse money.”

Dave230 says the context doesn’t make it appropriate

“You shouldn’t have to listen to somebody pester you shouting your wife’s name all day around the course in any walk of life. It wouldn’t be accepted at anyone’s work. It would lead to a fight at a bar. So why should a professional sportsperson have to suck it up?”

MrWolf thinks something is brewing

“McIlroy is spot on, just like Justin Thomas. Players are clearly unhappy and I doubt it’s just those two…It’ll be interesting to see if this issue comes to a head between the players and the tour. It might be that player power is the only way to force the tour to actually do something about the plethora of d***heads that seem to attend tournaments these days.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Page through the 100 replies regarding this ongoing discussion that doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon and offer your take. And if PGA Tour officials are considering action, they’d do well to do the same for a thorough treatment of the issue.

Check out the thread. 

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19th Hole

The 5 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Chris Trott shows off how he speeds up the drying process on a paintfill when pressed for time

Dave Nguyen with  his #newbabe

Pat Lucci displays his custom Lamont Mann putter cover

The Wedge Wizard reveals his “stone finish”

Andrew Halford‘s beautiful custom Newport 2

Don’t forget to tag your photos #GolfWRX. Golf gods willing, you’ll be featured here in the future!


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